How to Block A Stolen Cell Phone Using IMEI Number in the United States?

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In the unfortunate event that your cell phone is stolen, swift action can protect your personal information and prevent unauthorized use. Is it possible to block a stolen cell phone in the United States? Yes, it is.

One of the most effective measures is to block your phone using its unique IMEI number. This digital fingerprint can render your device unusable on networks, deterring theft and safeguarding your data. And that is comforting news. Your phone might be gone, but you can render it unusable to the thief even if you can’t get it back. Let’s get into the nitty-gritties of how to block a stolen cell phone, regardless of what mobile carrier you are using in the United States of America.

How does IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identification) work?

The International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) is a unique numeric identifier assigned to mobile phones, GSM modems, and some satellite phones. It consists of 15 digits. It can be used to identify each device, because it is a unique number. It can also be used to determine if a device is blacklisted for one reason or the other. You can read more about IMEI and how it works.

Each time a cell phone is switched on, with a SIM card inside it, the SIM immediately attempts to register your IMEI number on the servers of the network service provider or wireless carrier. The IMEI number is permanently stored in the server database of the carrier. If your phone is lost or stolen, you can ask your carrier to blacklist and block your IMEI number, so that your phone cannot be used on their service. Where your carrier is part of a collaboration with other carriers, your phone will also be blacklisted on all of those carriers, so it cannot be used there, too. Essentially, the stolen phone becomes useless.

You can block a stolen cell phone using its IMEI number

How to block a stolen cell phone using IMEI Number in the United States

To block a stolen mobile phone using the IMEI number in the United States, you should:

  1. Find your IMEI number (usually found on the original box or by dialing *#06# on the phone).
  2. Contact your network carrier and provide them with the IMEI number and your phone’s registered details.
  3. Complete any identification process they require.
  4. Request that they block your phone due to theft.

Additionally, you may want to file a police report with the IMEI number. Your service provider may also be able to disable your device to block access to its information.

What else to do if your cell phone is stolen in the U.S.

Apart from requesting that your carrier block the stolen phone using the IMEI number, there are a few other things you can do in the event that your cell phone is stolen.

  • You can attempt to locate the device by calling it immediately (if you are in the location where it was stolen) or by using an anti-theft software-enabled GPS locator.
  • If you have installed anti-theft software on your device, use it to lock the phone, wipe sensitive information and/or activate the alarm. Even if you think you may have only lost the device, you should remotely lock it to keep the data on it safe.
  • Immediately report the theft to the police, including the make and model, serial and IMEI or MEID or ESN number. Some service providers require proof that the device was stolen, and a police report would provide that documentation.
  • Immediately report the theft or loss to your mobile wireless carrier.  You will be responsible for any charges incurred prior to when you report the stolen or lost device.
  • Request written confirmation from your service provider that you reported the device as missing and that the device was disabled.

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By Mister Mobility

I have been tech blogging since 2003, I have owned and reviewed hundreds of smartphones since my first in 2001.

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